Barcelona midfielder Rafinha Alcantara joins Celta Vigo on loan

Barcelona midfielder Rafinha Alcantara has joined Celta Vigo on a season-long loan deal after renewing his contract at the Camp Nou.

The player’s deal at the Blaugrana was set to expire in June 2020 but he has renewed it by a further 12 months along with agreeing a loan switch to the Galician club.

It will be Rafinha’s second stint at Celta after spending the 2013/14 campaign on loan at the club, when he was then managed by Luis Enrique – while the player has made 91 appearances for Barca.

It had been claimed that Barcelona were reluctant to sanction a permanent sale despite the player’s track record of injuries, due to the potential they believe he has.

It had previously been reported that Valencia were still open to the possibility of bringing in the 26-year-old this summer, having previously made attempts to sign him in a permanent deal worth €15m.

Rafinha has been blighted by similar injury problems over the years – he had a stint on loan at Inter for the second half of the 2017-18 season but featured in just five La Liga games last campaign before suffering a MCL knee ligament injury.

The Brazilian is the latest player to exit the Camp Nou this summer after goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen joined Valencia, with Neto going the other way.

While the clubs maintained a good relationship there had been no breakthrough in negotiations, another mentioned Valencia target – Denis Suarez – has also since joined Celta.

Denis, Cillessen, Thomas Vermaelen, Douglas Pereira, Jeison Murillo and Kevin Prince-Boateng have been among the departures from the Camp Nou this summer.

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